Bruno’s Landlords, Including Ahold, Seek Rent

Some landlords for Bruno’s Supermarkets — including Ahold, which once owned the chain — have asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court here to deny Bruno’s request for a 60-day extension to pay rent owed after its bankruptcy filing, saying the retailer has already made the decisions on store closures it claims to be still considering.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Some landlords for Bruno’s Supermarkets — including Ahold, which once owned the chain — have asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court here to deny Bruno’s request for a 60-day extension to pay rent owed after its bankruptcy filing, saying the retailer has already made the decisions on store closures it claims to be still considering.

In court papers filed this week, lawyers for Ahold, which became a landlord at four Bruno’s locations after it sold the chain to Texas-based private-equity firm Lone Star Funds in 2005, objected to Bruno’s call for rent deferrals in part because the case would “most certainly be a Chapter 11 liquidating case,” and not “large and complex” as argued by Bruno’s.

“Simply put, the debtor’s objective is nothing less than to have its operations involuntarily funded by its landlords under the guise of seeking relief,” Ahold charged. “To add insult to injury,” Ahold further claimed, Bruno’s plans to conduct going-out-business sales at some locations without having paid rent there.

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